While driving your car, you'll naturally want everything to be in prime working condition to ensure maximum safety at all times. If your steering wheel starts to feel loose while you're on the road, then you may find it challenging to properly navigate your car. This guide is designed to help you with some probable causes behind the loose steering wheel of your car. If you face any of these issues, be sure to head to a car service immediately to get it fixed.
The Steering Gear Becomes Worn Out
A steering gear enables the turning force needed to steer the car. If the steering gear gets worn out or damaged, then you will notice a wobbling effect in your car when you turn your steering wheel. This will also cause the steering wheel to become loose over time. You may also notice a grinding or popping sound when the steering gear wears out.
The Tie Rods Are Damaged
A tie rod is part of your car's steering mechanism and is the connection between the steering wheel and the tyres. The tie rod transmits force from the steering's centre link or rack gear to the steering knuckle to get the wheel to turn. Over time, the ends of the tie rod may start to wear out, causing a slack performance in the steering and handling of your car. If the tie rods are worn out, you may need to get them replaced at a car service centre.
The Ball Joint Is Damaged
A damaged ball joint can also cause your car's steering wheel to feel loose because it connects the car's wheel hubs to the rest of the suspension components. If the ball joint is damaged or worn out, then it may also create a type of banging sound when your car hits a ditch or dent in the road.
The Pitman Arm Is Spent
The Pitman arm or the idler arm is attached to the steering box sector shaft. It converts the angular motion of the sector shaft to the linear motion, which is needed to turn your car's steering wheel. The pitman arm supports the centre link with a ball joint. When it gets worn out or spent, then it begins to slip and will cause your car's steering wheel to feel loose.
If you notice any of these signs of a loose steering wheel, then you will need to head to a car service centre to get the problem diagnosed and fixed.